4 Tips for Better Interactions with Loved Ones with Memory Loss
When a loved one begins to experience memory loss, it can be difficult for the whole family. He or she may forget how to complete daily tasks or no longer recognize familiar people and places. Interactions with your loved one at this stage require patience and compassion to maintain a peaceful atmosphere.
1. Focus on Conversations
People with memory loss may have trouble paying attention to more than one thing at once. When you need to speak to your loved one, remove as many distractions as possible. Turn off the TV and radio, and put away your cell phone. Pause after speaking to give your loved one time to respond.
Listen to everything he or she has to say without interrupting to correct, even if a statement isn’t accurate.
2. Be Clear and Direct
Keep sentences and statements simple to avoid confusing or overwhelming your loved one. Use names instead of pronouns whenever possible, and address your loved one by name when you need to get his or her attention.
Because memory loss can also affect the ability to make decisions, questions should be direct and not include too many choices.
3. Be Level-Headed
It’s not unusual for anxiety to accompany memory loss. Your loved one may become agitated when he or she can’t remember something important or feel scared if surroundings suddenly become unfamiliar. Should this happen, stay calm. Use a gentle tone to reassure your loved one.
Even if the fears are unfounded, don’t admonish him or her for being unreasonable. Everything going on in your loved one’s mind is very real to him or her, and the resulting emotions should be dealt with accordingly.
4. Take a Proactive Approach
If your loved one begins to forget to turn off the stove after cooking, throw away expired food or take out the trash, it may be time to discuss other living arrangements. This could involve hiring professional in-home care to help with daily tasks. Discuss the options with your loved one, calmly addressing any concerns or fears he or she expresses and focusing on the benefits.
Responding appropriately to signs of memory loss helps your loved one stay calm during a time of uncertainty and change while allowing you to take the opportunity to enjoy each other’s company and make new memories as he or she ages.
If you believe that it’s time to bring in outside help, Caring Home Care is here for you! Hiring a professional in-home caregiver can assist with daily tasks, keeping your loved one company, and providing them with the care they need. Learn more about our caregivers today!